Mark Sauer

Rookie - 94 Points (1958 / Texas, U.S.A.)

Sodom, Occupation Layer Ii - Poem by Mark Sauer

To the salted desert God had blasted
Men soon returned, chastisement all forgot;
As brief as tears endure, exile lasted,
Then new fools crept to settle the same spot.
They raised again the shattered walls, the wells
Anew they dug; they plowed beneath black bones
In furrows neat, and trod upon the skulls.
They built new homes on burnt foundation stones
But never asked; nor met each other's eyes
As they sowed vines and orchards on scorched sand.
Come harvest, neighbors cheated, traded lies,
Lusted, sinned, - and feigned not to understand
Why wine soured, corn melted into dung,
And apples turned to ashes on their tongue.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

The Apple of Sodom is described by the Roman-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who saw it growing near the ruins south of the Dead Sea: "…which fruits have a color as if they were fit to be eaten, but if you pluck them with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes." (Whiston 1737: Book IV, chapter 8 section 4)

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 26, 2012



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